Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed his former rival Jose Mourinho to steer Chelsea out of the crisis currently gripping their season.
Mourinho is clinging to his job just six months after returning the Premier League title to Stamford Bridge and faces Porto on Wednesday in a match he dare not lose.
The champions lie 14th in the table after 15 games, are just two points above the relegation zone, and have lost nine times already this term, the latest coming at home to newly-promoted Bournemouth on Saturday.
Defeat to his former club Porto, who will likely need to win to progress from the group stage, would condemn Chelsea to an early Champions League elimination and increase the pressure on Mourinho.
But Ferguson believes the man who caught British attention with his touchline celebrations when his Porto team ousted United in 2004 and has since won every major honour is too good not to prevail.
“If you look at his whole career there has been nothing but a rise all of the time,” said Ferguson, whose relationship with Mourinho has been one of mutual admiration.
“So for the first time in his life he has had to deal with bad publicity, adversity, and that is a challenge for him. But there are signs he is getting back to a balanced level although they lost on Saturday.
“For Jose, I think all good leaders will eventually find a solution. I think he’ll find a solution and I think you’ll get back to normal. I know the guy and the work he has done and I can’t see it lasting long.”
Ferguson also insisted that surprise pace-setters Leicester could sustain their run and win a first top-flight title, but urged their Thai owners to hand manager Claudio Ranieri transfer funds next month.
“What is Ranieri saying to the owners? If I were him I’d want an investment in January because this is a big opportunity,” he added.
“They could win the league the way they are playing at the moment and they have goals in their team. That is not the owners’ problem. The problem for the owners is have they got the money? I think they have.”